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Watch Against Me! Cover Tom Petty’s ‘Runnin’ Down a Dream’

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Last night (Oct. 4) at Cleveland’s House of Blues, Against Me! tore through a spirited rendition of Tom Petty’s hit “Runnin’ Down a Dream” just days after the singer died at the age of 66.

Frontwoman Laura Jane Grace introduced the song in the video which can be seen above by talking about her childhood love for the 1989 album from which the single came, Full Moon Fever, even though she didn’t know “a thing” about Petty, including the fact that he was the leader of the Heartbreakers group.

“All of my first live performances, technically, were me strumming a tennis racket, dancing in front of my bedroom mirror while lip-syncing along to that record,” Grace says. “I didn’t know what was in store for me down the road – you know? I just knew I loved that record. I didn’t know a thing about Tom Petty – I didn’t even know he had a band called the Heartbreakers at the time.”

Grace then said how her father purchased a guitar modeled after the supergroup Travelin’ Wilburys that Petty was in with such rock royalty as George Harrison and Bob Dylan, and revealed Petty would eventually be the inspiration for her choice of electric guitar after moving to the singer’s hometown.

“Eventually, I started playing acoustic guitar, and when I was ready for an electric guitar, my dad got me a Traveling Wilburys‘ electric guitar,” she says. “And then, after that, I moved to Gainesville, Florida, where the Heartbreakers were from. And as soon as this band started making any money, I bought a Rickenbacker guitar, because Tom Petty played a f–kin’ Rickenbacker guitar. I love Tom Petty’s music with all my heart … and I think I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite Tom Petty song, but this might be one of them.” The group then launched into their performance of “Runnin’ Down a Dream.”

Against Me! are currently in the midst of a headlining North American tour which rolls into Buffalo, N.Y. at the Waiting Room. The full run of dates can be found here.

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